As I said I would, I took yesterday off and spent it looking for things to do to help. I organized a group at work to get sandwich materials and deliver them to a Salvation Army nearby. It wasn't easy, either, a lot of places had more food and supplies and help than they needed so it took 4 or 5 hours of footwork to track down a place that did need help. Next week I'll try to get together a group to do a similar thing as the volunteer efforts will have died down some. Still, I found a place that did need stuff and thanks to convincing the CEO to foot the bill we bought the makings for over 100 lunches (sandwiches and bottled water == lunch). I had to leave before they were made and delivered, though, so I didn't see the end results.
My brother in law and I went back to my place and packed up and got the kids ready. My dad picked them up at 8 or so and then the two of us took showers and got dressed and packed up and headed back into the city.
We visited a few shelters to see if they needed help, but most of the people had moved out of the shelters and back home as the city slowly reopened. That was disappointing in that we couldn't help but wonderful news in that people didn't need the shelters so much.
After that we went to the main volunteer place at the Javits Center. We worked there last night until around 5 am, and then at that point my brother in law, having been working since Wednesday with few breaks, was too exhausted to continue so we came back here to crash.
Unfortunately they aren't taking civilian volunteers at "the heap" anymore, since that $40 billion was given to NYC for relief they decided to use part of it to hire contractors to do the work. It makes sense, I guess, they're trained to do this sort of thing (or close to it) but it still seems to me there's a lot of useful but brainless grunt work (hauling the excavated rubble away, for instance) that we could do that would genuinely help. Oh well. We just helped out with odd jobs at the Javits center, distributing hot cocoa to the tired workers (not us damnit :( ), helping unload and move supplies, setting up stuff, etc.
Anyways, we're going to have lunch (breakfast, really, but you know) and go back and see if there's anything else we can do to help. We'll see.